- The draft standard sets out guidance for the maintenance of livestock ramps with the aim of both increasing the safety of workers and the welfare of livestock.
- Strong support shown from the industry highlights the importance of standards and their ability to build confidence across Australian regional communities.
- The development of the draft standard has been aided by the pre-existing Guidelines for Ramps and Forcing Yards to support consistency across the industry.
- Standards Australia are encouraging members of the community to contribute to the drafting of the standard as part of the public consultation period, which ends 27 April 2020.
Standards Australia is taking important steps aimed at improving the design and construction of livestock ramps and is inviting industry and farming communities for feedback.
DR AS 5340, Design of livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing yards, has been released for public comment to gain feedback from across Australia, particularly those in the industry and regional communities.
Development of this draft standard comes after rural communities across Australia were left shaken by the death of a transport worker while unloading livestock on a loading ramp in October 2013.
“The development of this draft standard is of great importance, particularly following these tragic circumstances,” said Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Standards Australia, Daniel Chidgey.
“Over several months we have worked with relevant stakeholders from across the agricultural industry to develop a standard that intends to provide guidance and improve the safety of workers.”
“We’ve just begun the public consultation stage of the standard development process, which is an essential part and helps us gain a broader community perspective on the recommendations posed by the standard,” said Mr. Chidgey.
The pre-existing Guidelines for Ramps and Forcing Yards developed by The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has helped steer the development of the draft.
“There is a consensus within the industry that safety can be best achieved by keeping livestock and people separated, we have aimed to reflect this in the standard,” said ALRTA Vice President and Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee, Michael Debenham.
“By improving safety for workers, we also improve the safety and welfare of our livestock – the two go hand in hand.”
“The development of AS 5340 Design of livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing yards is strongly supported by the industry. We hope by aligning it with the existing ALRTA guide it will be reflective of broader industry needs and help ensure the consistent use of the standard when published,” said Mr. Debenham.
Those from the manufacturing, agriculture and farming industries are encouraged to submit their feedback on the Standards Australia’s website by 27 April 2020.
“Whether it’s in metropolitan hubs or remote farming communities, Standards Australia is committed to working alongside industry in improving and promoting safety,” concluded Mr. Chidgey.